Fouls Plague Men’s Basketball In 85-61 Loss To St. Olaf

Posted on January 3rd, 2015 by

Sergio Najera (shooting) led Gustavus with 16 points in an 85-61 loss to St. Olaf on Saturday. (Image courtesy of Mike Ludwig, St. Olaf Sports Information)

NORTHFIELD, MINN. – After finishing 2014 on a six game win streak, the Gustavus Adolphus men’s basketball team hit a wall to begin the new year, falling to St. Olaf College 85-61 on Saturday afternoon at Skoglund Center. The loss was the first for the Gusties in MIAC play and moves them to 3-1 in the conference and 7-2 overall. The win boosts St. Olaf to 4-1 in the MIAC and 9-1 overall.

Gustavus committed a season high 27 fouls in the game, allowing the Oles to shoot a whopping 37 free-throws, 34 of which St. Olaf converted. The Gusties were not able to get to the charity stripe as frequently, as they shot only 18 free-throws on the afternoon, converting 15 of them.

“We fouled them too much,” said head coach Mark Hanson. “I don’t mean to make it that simple, as there were obviously other things that were factors, but fouls and free-throw chances were certainly key today.”

The two teams went back and forth during the game’s first 10 minutes and Gustavus held a 17-16 lead with 10:50 remaining in the first half. But it was all St. Olaf from that point on, as the Oles went on a 30-10 run to close out the half and led 46-27 going into halftime.

“They played with a higher level of intensity and we didn’t match it,” said Hanson. “It was close early on and then they simply cranked it up a notch and we didn’t answer. We were late on stuff, we got pushed out of rebounding position and we just didn’t come through.”

St. Olaf continued to add to its lead to begin the second half, and with 16:08 remaining in the game, led the Gusties 57-32. However, Gustavus went on a 13-0 run over the next four minutes to pull within 12 and cut the Ole lead to 57-45. However, the 25 point hole proved to be too much to overcome, and the Oles scored seven of the next nine points to bring their lead to 65-47 with 10:18 to play and put the game out of reach. Following a Riley Aikens free-throw at the 11:08 mark, St. Olaf’s lead would never dip below 15 for the remainder of the game.

Sergio Najera (Jr., New Prague, Minn.) continued to provide the scoring punch for Gustavus as he led the team in points with 16 on 6-of-12 shooting. Isaac Tapp (Sr., Stewartville, Minn.) was next in line with 11 points on 5-of-9 shooting and Martin Feddersen (Sr., Winona, Minn.) scored nine points on 3-of-4 shooting and also grabbed a team high five rebounds. Gustavus finished the game shooting 22-of-53 from the field, a 41.6-percent clip.

St. Olaf junior big man Ben Figini, a Division II transfer from Minnesota State University, Moorhead, led the Oles with 23 points on 8-of-11 shooting. Justin Pahl added 21 points on 6-of-9 shooting, including going 3-of-6 from beyond the arc.

“We didn’t play with the intensity that we are capable of and that we need to play with,” concluded Hanson. “We play a very good Augsburg team on Wednesday and will need to have some good practices these next few days in order to be ready.”

Gustavus will take on the Auggies at 7 p.m. on Wednesday evening on Gus Young Court.

Box Score


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